Saturday, June 30, 2007

I Just Saw Sicko

My mother, a nurse, had wanted to see the film since she heard about it. She's had good insurance and bad and knows what it's like to have to deal with the fact that she needs to get permission to get her patients the medication they need. She's personally dealt with insurance agencies using all sorts of measures to avoid paying for the drugs that were paramount to the prescribed treatment. There were points in the movie where she actually cried, like watching people who got sick when they helped right after 9/11 and the Government wouldn't treat their injuries sustained while trying to save lives at the twin towers.

I've known this for a while now, but America should be ashamed of its medical treatments. We have both the best health care in the world - and the worst. People who have great insurance get great treatment, people who don't have insurance or who have a lousy program are lucky to get any treatment at all. We could continue on this shameful path of maximum profitability at Harvard Pilgram and Blue Cross Blue Shield... or we could demand something better.

We could demand hospitals don't send away people who are in need of emergency care.

We could demand that medications that cost five cents in Cuba don't cost patients $125 here.

We could demand that every single human being in America have a generous baseline of quality care.

These aren't hard things. They'd cost less than the system we have now, while treating everyone. They'd remove these SiCKO insurance companies from the process of deciding who gets coverage and who doesn't - doctors should make those decisions, not people on the other end of the phone. A National Health Care system would make sure that America were a decent, moral country - one where we have the right kind of family values, making sure people don't have to decide between paying the mortgage and getting treatment for their cancer. Let's make America better. Let's get everyone insurance. That's one thing my mother understood by the time she left the theater.


Anonymous said...

Or we could just elect Mitt and drive sick people around in cages on top of cars, spraying them with hoses. "The Fresh Air Cure" works wonders.

Ryan Adams said...

Let's hope that Mitt Romney story makes some resonance in New Hampshire and Iowa, where he's actually doing well. I think there are a lot of even non-dog lovers who would be pretty outraged about that one.

Kathleen Conley Norbut said...

I would like to know when we are going to hold insurance companies accountable for the medical (physical therapy, occupational therapy, mental and behavoiral health) treatments that are being billed/covered by special education? Leave aside the egregious legislative failure to fully fund the special education circuit breaker and there is still the problem of a free ride for insurance companies at the expense of regular education services.

John Hosty said...

I'm glad to see you are staying on top of things Ryan. I'll go see the movie, and I'm sure it will move me to action.

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